Name: Bryce W.
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Weight: 340 pounds
Pant Size: 46 waist
Weight: 190 pounds
Pant Size: 33 waist
1. LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your life like before joining LIVESTRONG.COM?
Before joining LIVESTRONG, although I was happy in most aspects of life, I knew my health was in jeopardy. At 27 years old and 340 pounds, I had plenty of "gal pals," but I had never been in a serious relationship. I had an active social life, but I was also lonely. I spent a lot of time at bars and consumed quite a bit of alcohol on a very regular basis. I could only barely fit into the booths at most restaurants. Often, if the table wasn't bolted down, I would try to push it forward slightly as I scooted in to allow myself more room. I was so unhealthy that I was breaking a sweat at normal room temperature just by sitting down.
2. LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your inspiration to make a change?
I had become quite comfortable being the big guy. I could joke about it and didn't even mind always being called "big guy" anymore. My weight had passed 300 pounds in 2003, and at that point I just quit paying attention. One day I noticed some of my bigger shirts seemed to have gotten smaller, and some of my button-up shirts were stretching at the buttonholes when I sat down for a long time. I got out my scale, which was capable of handling up to 330 pounds. I stood on it and saw "OVR" where the weight should have been displayed. Time for a change!
3. LIVESTRONG.COM: How did LIVESTRONG.COM help you lose weight?
When I first made the decision to lose weight I had no idea how I was going to accomplish this goal, but I wanted to commit and get started right away. The first few days I decided to start by minimizing my portions. While searching for tips on the Internet I stumbled upon LIVESTRONG.COM. I set up an account and planned to lose two to three pounds per week by tracking calories on LIVESTRONG's MyPlate Calorie Tracker. I lost 100 pounds in about a year, which put me at 240 pounds. At that point I began a relationship with a girl I had been friends with for about five years. Although I was finally happy in my personal life, my weight began to creep back. By the beginning of 2014 I was back up to 280 pounds. I made a New Year's resolution to get my weight under 200 pounds for the first time since junior high. I began researching nutritional supplements to help me balance my macronutrients. I had an old friend who was an Herbalife wellness coach. He had always been one of my most fitness-knowledgeable friends, so I contacted him and decided to give it a try. I continued to track my calories and weight-loss progress on LIVESTRONG's MyPlate Calorie Tracker, but with some nutrition adjustments due to my new plan.
4. LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your support system like?
My wellness coach was one of the biggest helps: He tweaked my exercises and taught me numerous tips and tricks along the way. I also began sharing more of my journey on social media than I had previously. I discovered that receiving that feedback on my progress made it much more exciting and kept me motivated. I had several friends who would message me on a regular basis to check on how I was doing.
5. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's your favorite way to work out?
6. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's your weekly exercise schedule?
I constantly change my workout, but I typically have at least four days in which I focus on strength training specific body parts. For instance, right now I have five body-part days. So I work one of the following muscle groupings on each of the five days: chest and triceps; legs and abdominals; shoulders and trapezius; back and biceps; and forearms and calves. I do HIIT cardio two to three times per week, and, if the weather permits, I will also ride my bike at least once per week.
7. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's a typical day of meals and snacks?
I typically eat one to two meal-replacement shakes (with additional protein powder) each day. I also eat two protein-based snacks in between (usually consisting of meat and/or cheese along with fruits and veggies, but with at least 15 grams of protein and as few carbs as possible). I eat a full dinner that I keep colorful. I stay mindful about carbs throughout the day, but I never cut them out completely. If I am craving a particular food I usually allow myself to have it, but in moderation!
8. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's the range of calories you eat per day?
Now I always eat at least 1,800 calories per day, but I try not to exceed 2,100. In the past I ate as low as 1,500 calories per day, but I found myself having a hard time working out under such a deficit. I had begun to feel fatigued and found myself feeling hungry a large percentage of the time.
9. LIVESTRONG.COM: What are the healthy staples that are always in your kitchen?
Protein! Whether it's my Herbalife products, deli meat, cheese, nuts, Greek yogurt, beef jerky, etc. -- I always have protein-based snacks and meals available.
10. LIVESTRONG.COM: How do you strategize for meals?
When I first got started and had a more "normal" schedule I kept most of my meal-replacement shake canisters at work for convenient access. I took a variety of snacks in to work and usually pre-logged my calories each day. If for some reason I ended up eating at a restaurant, I would look up the nutrition facts and log what I intended to eat before ordering. I found that if I skipped this step I would almost always exceed what I'd have wanted to allow myself to consume!
11. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's the biggest challenge you faced?
The biggest challenge I faced along the journey was having a girlfriend who is already in shape. She is able to eat whatever she wants and has no interest in cutting out sweets or other unhealthy snack foods. Also, she makes the best biscuits and macaroni and cheese! When I realized I had regained 40 pounds since we began dating (to be fair, I also switched to a desk job around that same time) I started to get really down on myself. Even though I knew I could do it, just imagining how long it was going to take to get back to where I was before made it very frustrating and difficult to get motivated.
12. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's your biggest secret to success that you want to share with others?
A.) COMMIT! Next time you're thinking about how you want to make a change, take an immediate step to get started! It doesn't matter what it is: Just do something to commit right then and there! Otherwise, the next thing you know, six months will have passed and nothing will have changed. When next the thought returns you'll likely feel depressed and keep repeating the cycle, never making any strides toward progress!
B.) TAKE "BEFORE" PICTURES! Sometimes even when the scale isn't cooperating, there is just nothing like looking back at an old pic and knowing what you've accomplished so far, even if your goal for that particular week was not met!
C.) ROME WASN'T BUILT IN A DAY! I know, I know -- we've all heard this, but it's so important when you're a third of the way to your goal and the remaining distance you have to go seems so overwhelming and far away. Celebrate all of your accomplishments, big or small, and keep it up! Reward yourself. And if you have a bad day, just get back to it the next day and don't let yourself spiral downward! Keep the Rome analogy in mind. What if they had let a small setback stop them from creating an empire? Focus more on how far you've come than how far you have to go.
13. LIVESTRONG.COM: What's your life like now?
As of November 2014 I decided to start coaching others who were interested in Herbalife, since I'd had so many people asking me about it on social media as a result of my own success. I now have several clients I'm showing how to get into the best shape of their lives too!
I work out in some way almost every day. It feels very odd if I miss a couple of days. At 33 years old, I am in the best shape of my life and am the most capable I've ever been. Last year, after I first broke the 200-pound threshold, I went mountain biking with some avid biker friends. I had been dreading riding with them because it had been so long since I rode trails. Plus, I'm just used to being the big guy that people have to wait for on these types of excursions. The trails we were riding were only about three miles, and after the first lap I had to wait almost two full minutes for them to catch up with me! That story pretty much sums up how I feel about life these days. I'm constantly surprising myself and others with what I am capable of in my new body -- and I love it!
Written by: Ann Rusnak and Kelley Plowe